Nothing More Important Than Feeding The Addiction
By Ned Wicker
For most people, Jeremy Jeffress is living a dream life. He is one of the Milwaukee Brewers’ top pitching prospects, one of those guys the organization is counting on to be a solid major league starter in the future.
But there is only one detail preventing him from advancing through the club’s minor league ranks and into the majors—he has tested positive to a “drug of abuse” and is currently starting a 100-game suspension.
He was previously suspended 50 games for his first offense and if it happens one more time, Major League Baseball will give him a lifetime suspension.
According to a story written by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jeffress has tested positive THREE times under the Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention program. His drug of choice is marijuana.
The story states that players do not get a suspension for the first offense for marijuana, but they would be suspended for any performance-enhancing drugs. The action for his first offense was education and a warning. It didn’t take. His second offense brought a 50-game suspension and now the 100 game action. This young man is in trouble.
People who use marijuana usually deny any possibility that the drug can be addictive. They want it to be legalized because it isn’t harmful, at least according to their own viewpoint. The fact is, marijuana is addictive and people get into serious trouble with it.
While most people think it’s harmless, they don’t think that this “harmless” drug is about to cost a young man a career in major league baseball. It seems Jeffress’ addiction is serious enough that he would rather smoke marijuana than play ball and possibly earn millions doing it.
The Brewers are trying to help this kid straighten his life out. Of course, if he wants to throw it away there’s probably little the club can do to prevent that. They will place him into another counseling and education program, but sadly if Jeffress would rather smoke pot than pitch, the programs are meaningless. Maybe the young man truly doesn’t understand.
Or, maybe the addictive nature of marijuana is much stronger than most people realize. If pot isn’t addictive, why throw your life away for it? Either Jeffress is addicted, or he’s really stupid.
Smoking a little pot is not harmless. Obviously Major League Baseball recognizes the seriousness of marijuana use. About a year ago, I wrote about Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and his courage in working through treatment and recovery from drug addiction. Like Jeffress, he got into major trouble and was out of baseball for a while during his treatment.
The Cincinnati Reds took a flier on him and it paid out for them. They traded him to Texas, a good deal for both clubs. Hamilton faced his problem and has embraced the help and support of his club and Major League Baseball.
Marijuana is not harmless, it’s not innocent and it’s not legal. It is a potent and addictive substance that can grab hold of a person and not let go. The Milwaukee Brewers are on the verge of losing a top prospect because he’s addicted. All the nay-sayers can pontificate about the value of marijuana and how it should be legalized. They call those who don’t agree with their opinion unenlightened, or narrow minded.
They thumb their noses at any medical evidence to the contrary. Look at Jeremy Jeffress and tell me that marijuana is not destructive. With no education (he was drafted out of high school) and no career to fall back on, Jeffress is in a downward spiral. Left unchecked, his addiction to marijuana will totally control his life and lead him down a lonely path to oblivion.